Saturday, 18 April 2015


 Oh my god, if you are creating a world with any, and I repeat any, pretence to being dark or serious, do not have a major character have a catchphrase.

 It gets old really fast.

 Not to mention that people do not talk like that. Well, most people.

 Game show hosts, sure, but not the average person.

 Why do I mention this?

 Well, I've actually started playing 358/2 Days and Axel's 'got is memorised?' thing makes me want to rip his head off, it's so damn annoying.

 And it is a catchphrase.

 Some people do have words and phrases that they repeat a lot in everyday speech, my dad was very fond of the word prevaricate for example, but this 'got it memorised' thing clearly isn't a case of naturally repeating the phrase.

 How do I know this? Because Axel's dialogue is built around giving him opportunities to say it. He looks for opportunities to say it.

 He says it when he's asking if Roxas understands what he's just been told.

 He says it when he introduces himself.

 He says it when Roxas tells him he's been keeping track of how long he's been in the organisation.

 He says it like someone who has heard a catchphrase and wants to use it all the time to seem cool says it.

 It's not natural, and it is really annoying.

 Do not make a character like Axel.

 For my sanity, please do not make a character like Axel.

 The Doctor in New Who is a much better example of how to pull a repeated signature word or phrase off. As much as I do not like Stephen Moffat, he's managed to do this reasonably well.

 Russell T Davies did it best with the Ninth Doctor because although he's strongly associated with the word 'brilliant' it was only ever said in regular dialogue.

 This goes further to the basic problem with Axel and characters like him, he never just says it. He always says it with this air of self awareness that makes it clear that he knows this is something he says a lot and wants to make it his 'thing'.

 Basically, what I'm getting at is that Axel may be the perfect example of how not to do a repeated word or phrase.

 Not just because it's annoying, but also because it manages to overshadow the rest of his character.

 I'm always expecting him to say it, so I can barely stand to see or hear his dialogue.

 And that's a real problem.

 Do not make this mistake.

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